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Local newscasts enjoy good ratings

A new study by Hearst-Argyle Television reports that local news is among television’s most popular programming. Local newscasts, on average, accounted for four of the top 10 shows in seven large and mid-size markets during the last three sweeps periods.

The markets include Boston (DMA 7), Sacramento, CA, (DMA 20), Pittsburgh (DMA 22), Baltimore (DMA 24), Kansas City (DMA 31), Milwaukee (DMA 34) and Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM, (DMA 44). All are markets in which Hearst-Argyle has stations, reported “TV Newsday,” but not all the top 10 newscasts are the group’s productions.

One Hearst-Argyle station outside of the scope of the study, WGAL in Lancaster, PA, (DMA 41), regularly delivers a 14 rating in late news. “That’s about what the Olympics did in Pennsylvania over the 17 days,” Kathleen Keefe, Hearst-Argyle’s vice president of sales, told “TV Newsday.”

Keefe said that she hopes the new research makes national advertisers think twice before buying network or syndicated programming. Local TV, she said, is “a huge wonderful advertising proposition, reaching 98 percent of the homes in every market.”